Throughout the history of classical music there have been composers who, in moments of inspiration, created masterpieces that have stayed with us for centuries. Just as important are those musicians who, through their own virtuosity, re-create those masterpieces — a talent that was particularly appreciated before the advent of recording technology.

This desire to re-create also applies to the instruments used in performing such great works. Around 300 years ago, for example, the finest violins were made in the northern Italian city of Cremona by luthiers such as Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) and Giuseppe Guarneri (1698-1744). Their efforts resulted in objects that have fascinated musicians and collectors alike over the years, sometimes fetching hundreds of million yen a piece. And these objects are being reproduced in modern-day Tokyo.

"When I was younger, I wanted to create my own original violin, but before long, I realized how difficult it is," says Tokyo-based German violin maker Andreas Preuss. Walking around his studio in the capital's Ikebukuro area, though, it's apparent that he eventually got the hang of it.